There have been a number of attempts to create carve outs for specific projects through Ohio’s General Operating Budget in the State Legislature in the past 6 months. The Ohio House and Senate had a variety of language to provide more guidance to the Ohio EPA regarding how that money should be spent. Unfortunately, some of these were extremely poorly thought out, and would have put Ohio’s share of the compensation at risk.
Part of the final civil settlement between Volkswagen and the USEPA resulting from Clean Air Act violations requires the company to pay $2.7 billion to an environmental trust. This portion, referred to as Appendix D of the settlement, allocates $71.4 million from this trust between 2017 and 2027 based on the approximately 15,000 violating vehicles in the state. Clean Fuels Ohio (CFO) has been hard at work to ensure that Ohio receives the greatest benefits possible from the VW settlement.
Ohio’s $71.4 million in Appendix D funding presents an opportunity for Ohio to support a transition to cleaner and more efficient vehicles for all fuels. Our recommendations were designed to illustrate industry best practices as well as highlight our experiences in the deployment of alternative fueled vehicles. In doing so, Ohio has the ability to curb NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions, reduce smog concentrations, and lower CO2 and other harmful pollutants.
Appendix D gives states the opportunity to use up to 15% of the settlement funds on the development of Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure. The settlement does not allow for spending on any infrastructure other than EV charging projects. The Ohio EPA has committed to investing that 15% in public charging.
The budget was approved by both the House and Senate, and the Governor has signed the bill. While there are over 40 line item vetoes, none of these pertain to alternative transportation fuels.
If you have any questions, please reach out to CFO’s Jason Phillips at 614-884-7336.